By Minka Klaudia Tiangco
An official from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said they were not enforcing guidelines for campaign motorcades, but are nevertheless urging candidates to be considerate to other motorists and follow road rules.
MMDA EDSA Traffic Manager Bong Nebrija said launching motorcades at main thoroughfares should be avoided, even on weekends.
“Even before the local campaign started, we tell the candidates that, if only it is okay, should they do a motorcade, they should avoid going through the main thoroughfares, even if it is the weekend,” he said during the Balitaan sa Maynila forum on Sunday.
“During weekends, our fellow Filipinos just want to have a family day and go out with their kids, and yet when there is a motorcade, the line of cars on the road is very long, they are really affected,” he added.
The EDSA traffic manager also reminded candidates to be considerate of fellow motorists, because refrain from actions that will aggravate others, as this may “backfire” on them and reflect on the election results.
Nebrija also prompted those who join motorcades onboard motorcycles to wear helmets for its duration.
“Hindi porke’t nasa motorcade kayo ay exempted na kayo sa disgrasya. So saamin, for everyone’s safety, mag-helmet po tayo. Pwede namang lagyan ng sticker ‘yung helmet eh (Just because you are in a motorcade does not mean that you are exempted from harm. For everyone’s safety, wear helmets. You can put campaign stickers on the helmet),” he said.
Nebrija also said candidates should inform the MMDA of their motorcade plans so they can help manage the traffic during the campaign activity.
“Candidates are not required to secure permits from us, but many reach out to the MMDA when they will be having a motorcade, advising us on their route. This helps us because we can send out our traffic enforcers and help with managing traffic,” he said in Filipino.
The MMDA official also said there was no need for them to arrest campaign violators since their rivals usually file complaints to the Commission on Elections or call them out in social media.
“We do not want to get involved in politics. The MMDA does not need to get involved with that,” he said. “To avoid facing complaints or flak, let us just follow the rules.”